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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Sept. 6, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 34 (download PDF version)

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The Port of San Francisco, which delayed a planned RFQ in July for PR agencies as it prepares to mark 150 years and host the 2013 America's Cup, has initiated the search, which is open to pitches through September 19.

America's Cup
Photo: America's Cup

The port wants to tap a small pool of PR firms to work on an as-needed basis over the next two years on its outreach to investors, visitors and media as it seeks to leverage the added visibility of the America's Cup race and the port's own anniversary.

San Francisco's 7.5-mile shoreline, which has evolved from an industrial maritime base to a more commercial and recreational area of the city, is managed by the port entity.

The RFQ was originally slated for release in early July and was then expected to be budgeted at $600K over four years.

Download the RFP at


Procter & Gamble's Gillette unit is reviewing its $5M men’s grooming account that has been at Porter Novelli for more than two decades.

Damon Jones, global communications manager of male grooming at P&G, says the firm wants to “have the right capability in place.” PR is viewed as a “critically important part of our mix.”

Gillette separated its men's and women's lines about two years ago, yanking the Venus shaving product from PN and handing it to Marina Maher Communications.

The company also uses Interpublic's DeVries, Publicis Groupe’s MSLGroup and Taylor for PR.

Ad Age, which broke the story, reports if PN loses its marquee client, it would be left with the Braun account, a “comparative sliver of P&G business.”


Havas, the French parent company to firms like Abernathy MacGregor Group and Euro RSCG PR, said Sept. 2 that first half organic growth rose 5.6% as net income jumped 8% to €53M compared with the same period of 2010.

First half revenue climbed 5% to €765M, including €245M in North America, where organic growth jumped 8.1% on advertising, digital and healthcare communications.

The Durex condom brand was a big win for the first half for Euro RSCG PR, the company noted.


Koch Industries, the privately held conglomerate controlled by Charles and David Koch, has signed on at powerhouse Republican firm Clark Lytle & Geduldig.

The firm represents Koch Companies Public Sector, which is the D.C. office of Wichita-based Koch, on energy, trade and investment issues.

Roll Call, reported May 1 that revenues at CL&G have soared since the GOP takeover of Congress last year.

Earlier this year, the firm strengthened those GOP ties by recruiting Jay Cranford, a policy aide to House Speaker John Boehner, to boost its energy and technology client roster. CL&G partner Sam Geduldig once worked for Boehner and Congressman Roy Blunt, who is now Missouri’s Senator.

Other CL&G staffers working the Koch business are Steve Clark, ex-government affairs VP at Ameritech; Gary Lytle, former senior VP-federal affairs at Qwest; Deborah Pryce, ex-Republican Rep. from Ohio, and Amy Wren, finance director to ex-Majority Leader Tom Delay.


Hewlett-Packard, which is mulling a spinoff of its PC business, has reassigned its top communications executive to a “special assignment” and put corporate communications under its chief marketing officer.

Bill Wohl, who joined H-P as chief comms. officer in January, is taking on a role to burnish H-P’s software operations after H-P last month moved to acquire software provider Autonomy in an $11.7B deal.

H-P’s corporate communications will now be led by chief marketing officer Marty Homlish and marketing VP Lynn Anderson. Wohl worked with Homlish and H-P CEO Leo Apotheker at SAP.

H-P is considering a spinoff of its personal computer operation as a shift in its operations.


Former Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell has been tapped to head communications for BP America as the company continues a long slog toward repairing its image in the wake of the 2010 Gulf oil spill.

Morrell stepped down as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs in June, following Secretary Robert Gates out the door after four years spanning the Bush and Obama administrations. He was previously a TV journalist, exiting ABC News for the Pentagon in 2007 after covering the White House.

At BP, he reports to U.K.-based Peter Henshaw, group head of communications, and oversees the company’s internal and external communications in the Americas.

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